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Subject: Inks


From: Timothy Vitale <tjvitale>
Date: Tuesday, May 7, 1996
Betty Steckman <steckman [at] email__njin__net> writes

>Can anyone tell me if PIXIE can be used to differentiate between
>cuttlefish ink and blackthorn ink?

PIXIE is a kind of very sensitive and accurate x-ray fluorescence
(XRF) device.  It uses protons to create x-rays emissions to be
analyzed is a standard multi-channel analyzer.  If the inks have
elements in very low concentration or below calcium on the periodic
table then PIXIE could be a useful differentiation tool.  If you
don't know the different elements present in the inks, but have easy
access to PIXIE, then it is worth a try. PIXIE has been used
effectively on inks in the past but it was known in advance what to

If on the other hand, you will be interested in differentiating
organic components then PIXIE is not your tool of choice.  You will
need gas chromatography mass-spectrometry (GCMS) and a lot of time
and experience. Some people have found thin-layer chromatography a
useful tool for differentiating types of sugars found in some inks.
This will also require some experience and experimentation, but it
is much easier technique to use.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:74
                   Distributed: Thursday, May 9, 1996
                        Message Id: cdl-9-74-002
Received on Tuesday, 7 May, 1996

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